The following article by Pat Jordon on Neil LaBute was published in the New York Times Magazine, March 25, 2009:


Neil LaBute Has a Thing About Beauty



Theatergoers will have barely settled into their seats at “Reasons to Be Pretty,” which makes its Broadway debut this week at the Lyceum, before they will be jolted by the profanity-laced rant of a young woman directed at her passive boyfriend all because he told a friend she had a “regular” face. The entire play hinges on this seemingly innocuous comment, which is why the billboard outside the Lyceum describes it as “a love story about the impossibility of love” written by “Neil LaBute, playwright and provocateur.” LaBute’s plays are, in fact, so provocative that some past audience members have walked out midplay or screamed out “kill the playwright” or slapped an actor’s face after a performance. And that makes a side of LaBute happy. “It’s part of my makeup,” he says, “to ruin a perfectly good day for people.”



(Neil LaBute’s dramatic work is included in One on One:  The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century; One on One:  The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century; and the upcoming Duo!:  The Best Plays for Two for the 21st Century (due in August)—all from Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.)


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